Social Media for IT and Software Companies


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Social Media for IT and Software Companies gives you the direction and tools you need to use social media to become a more agile, engaged, profitable and productive IT or software company.

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Social Media for IT and Software Companies

  1. 1. Community Ebook / October 2012 / / 1 888 6radianSocial Media for IT andSoftware CompaniesGives you the direction and tools youneed to use social media to becomea more agile, engaged, profitable andproductive IT or software company.Author Leslie Poston / Senior Brand Journalist Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6
  2. 2. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software Companies Social Media for IT and Software Companies Introduction 1. Inward-Facing Social Breaks Down Silos 2. Front-Facing Social Creates Success 3. Social Funding Connects Value to Your Network 4. The Social Software CEO Leads the Charge 5. Social Media Helps Reach Scalability conclusionwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [2]
  3. 3. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesWhat the Icons In Marketing Cloud Ebooks Mean: Quick, handy information designed to on-ramp you quickly Extra, relevant information that deserved to be called out for more attention Software, website or other tool that will help you get a job done well A story about a brand illustrating a concept in the book Helpful hints to keep you from making a mistake online Relevant stats to support the facts and best practices outlined in the book Where to find other resources and further information about this topicwww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [3]
  4. 4. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesIntroductionIT companies, software companies and social media seem like they would be a natural fit. In reality,many IT and software companies avoid social media – unsure what to do with a medium that doesn’tat first seem ideal for their vertical.You may be one of those companies, or perhaps you’ve begun your foray into social media butaren’t seeing the success of a Dell, IBM or Unisys yet. This ebook will help you forge ahead and usesocial media to you and your company’s advantage both internally and publicly.Forward-thinking CEO David K. Williams of manufacturing and inventory software companyFishbowl called social media a “universal university” where IT and software companies andcustomers could continuously learn from each other and create new successes, and he isabsolutely right. Not only is it a two-way avenue for better business and happier customers, italso works internally to break down silos and make your company more agile in a competitiveeconomy. Social media also helps you find the connections you need to get your business on theright foot, including investors and advisors.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [4]
  5. 5. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesInward-Facing Social Breaks Down SilosA recent IBM study discoveredthat while only 16% of CEOSare active in social media rightnow, that number is expectedto grow to 57% in 5 years. Thisis in large part because CEOsare coming to the realizationthat internal and external socialmedia make their companysmarter and more agile.Your CEO and other executives set the tonefor your company and drive adoption of newtechnologies and innovation. As CEOs leadby example, more and more companies willbreak down departmental silos within the “ Lenovo used Salesforce Buddy Mediaorganization to get more business done better. to get social on Facebook If you’re not transforming your company into a social business, plan to be out of business. -IBM Vice President Sandy CarterNokia is a great example of internal social media. They use a number of internal tools to make thathappen, and have had a social media team driving internal training in (and use of) inward facingsocial media tools since 2008. They use this inward-facing social media not only to break down silosin a company of over 125,000 people, but also to direct the effectiveness of Nokia’s brand voice andmake the company’s externally facing social media presences more efficient and effective.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [5]
  6. 6. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesNokia uses social media to keep the internal lines of communication open and flowing and tohighlight employees doing good work and interesting things inside and outside the company walls.Some of their tools include: • BlogHub • VideoHub • Infopedia (wiki) • employee interviews • employee feedback mechanisms • video conferencing • e-newsletters • intranet distribution to remote or factory workers via plasma screen displays on site for those people who are not at a computer all the time • surveysAnother example of internal social media is itself. With robust internal toolslike the Chatter network, document and information hubs and a fully integrated online intranet,travel, expense and even HR department, it’s easy for employees and customers to not only findthe information they need quickly but to reach out for help when they need it, which practicallyeliminates the concept of the silo in a huge SaaS organization. This is a monumental successthat keeps a large company agile and enables complex educational and networking events likeDreamforce to be brought to life. One of the takeaways that resonates from the IBM study: “Companies that outperform their peersare 30% more likely to identify openness – often characterized by a greater use of social media as akey enabler of collaboration and innovation – as a key influence on their organization.”Shareholders are sure to appreciate the effects of inward-facing social. IBM stands out as a socialbusiness inside and out, and that agility and open corporate culture is reflected in their fairly steadystock value in a down economy. Dec 31, 2009 - Jan 03,2012 S&P500 +13.36% IBM +13.36%www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [6]
  7. 7. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesFront-Facing Social Creates SuccessIf inward-facing social tools like Chatter and GitHub are helping ITand software companies innovate and iterate better, then front-facing social media tools are helping these companies connect withinvestors, advisors, suppliers, customers and engineers in a moreagile and relevant way as well. Front-facing social media is aboutmore than simple brand awareness for IT and software companies.It’s about getting things done.You wouldn’t expect a 138-year-old technology firm like Unisys to embrace social media, but that’sexactly what they are doing. Beginning with their CEO Ed Coleman, who embraced the idea ofinternal social then encouraged Director of Knowledge Strategy & Governance Gloria Burke andothers to develop Inside Unisys, Unisys brought social collaboration into their workplace. Thiseventually led to encouragement and use of external social media.Unisys took this a step beyond, giving employees a jump start on social media literacy with classes(in fact, making this training mandatory). This empowers their social media strategy on external sites  like LinkedIn or Facebook by giving employees firm guidelines on what to share, how to engage andhow to make that benefit for the company.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [7]
  8. 8. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesFront-facing social media can not onlyincrease productivity and brand awareness,it can have a positive effect on both B2Band B2C sales, your supply line, finding newtalent, connecting with investors and more.The key is in the tracking. Internal socialmedia is easy to measure. The benefits frominternal social media in increased productivityand employee happiness are fairly evidentand able to be traced out to customersatisfaction and more sales and customerretention and increased shareholder value.  Front-facing social media requires a little moreeffort to track.Key to success here will be a solid system of metrics and tracking systems that are attachedto your social profiles, landing pages, content nodules, email marketing and specific groupsand campaigns. Train your employees on social media tools and engagement, as well ason how to use social media to handle sales, customer service, competitive intelligence, findsuppliers and more. There is no such thing as too much education and support for youremployees in social media. An empowered workforce is an agile workforce.Use this simple checklist on how to get your employees on track for successful social media use foryour IT or software company.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [8]
  9. 9. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesSocial Funding Connects Value to Your NetworkAnother avenue where social media can be useful for the IT andsoftware company is social funding, especially if your company is instartup or lean-growth mode. In fact, a whole host of social mediasites specifically designed to help fund companies have popped upto make it easy to connect with funding via investors (AngelList) orreach new levels of crowd funding (Kickstarter, WeFunder, StartupAddict, Believers Fund, Quirky).If you don’t want to join yet another network, never fear: you can leverage the networks you arealready ‘rocking at’ into funding for your startup, and later, a successful exit.Just ask Laura Fitton, founder of startup oneforty (later acquired by Hubspot). She made theconnections she needed to start her company (finding both her talent and her investors) right onlineusing her favorite social network, Twitter, then achieved a successful exit via the Hubspot acquisition— Hubspot’s Mike Volpe and team are another connection she had made and nurtured over Twitter.The key word in that paragraph is nurture. Gone are the days when you can toss a cannedmarketing message or dry business plan out there and hope for strangers to invest in your ideabased on what they are being told on the surface. Now investors (whether they are big Angels, VCsor the average person investing via crowdfunding) want to get to know you, the power behind thethrone, and research your idea. Investors use your social activity to determine not only your breadthof knowledge and product offering value proposition but also your level of trust within each network.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [9]
  10. 10. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesSocial networks, in fact, do a great job establishing both knowledge and trust for individuals andcompanies. Trust is essential: you’re asking people to invest their hard-earned money into your IT orsoftware product or service idea.Another key factor in getting investment for your software or IT company through the content,knowledge and ideas you have put out in social media lies in answering the key questions investorsare asking. Fred Wilson, venture capitalist behind companies like Twitter and Tumblr, laid out what he “looks for on his blog: I’m asked this question all the time. Is it team? Is it the idea? Is it product? Is it market? The answer is that it is all of them and most importantly it is the way they all come together in a single company. Why is this the right team to do this? Can they package their idea correctly for the market? Is the market ready for their product? - Fred WilsonPractice your message and develop a 30 - 60 second pitch that works for social networks, thenput some meat behind it by engaging online well before you seek funding. You don’t have to revealyour company secrets ahead of launch. Establish your knowledge, gain trust and build your onlinenetwork so it’s ready when you need it. Giving back to the network you build is also key — give backin the way of advice or other help as much as you can.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 10 ]
  11. 11. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesThe Social Software CEO Leads the ChargeThe leader of your IT or software companysets the tone for the brand and leads thecompany into new territory by example. Somestandout examples of this include Marc Benioff(Salesforce), Michael Dell (Dell), Marissa Mayer(Yahoo!), Josh James (Domo), David K Williams(Fishbowl), and Ed Coleman (Unisys).  Josh James, formerly CEO of Omniture, has a IBM Study on CEOs in Social Media (infographic)new company now: Domo, a business intelligencecompany. The company conducted a live social media experiment in summer 2012, trackable bythe hashtag #domosocial. Domo mandated that every employee get into social media, specificallyrequiring the completion of 20 specific tasks using social media for the company over an 8-weekperiod beginning in May 2012.The tasks ranged from the somewhat strict (mandating an update to Facebook timeline beforeFacebook made it non-negotiable) to the more useful (creating a blog) to the fun (creating musicplaylists on social music sites). This touches on some unexplored territory in human resources lawand offers some innovation in marketing and company growth. James considers the experimenta success on bringing his employees closer together, closer to the customers and in creating apositive atmosphere internally.Josh James commented in Social Media Today that instead of asking what he and other CEOs wererisking by having employees active in social media that instead they should be asking, “What areyou risking by NOT having your employees using social media?”A 2012 study by BRANDfog agrees, stating that 82% of people who seek out companies onlineare more likely to trust a company with a CEO active in social media. This has huge implicationsfor the IT and software CEO — two industries where trust in the product or service is a requirementfor both customer acquisition and retention.Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, recently made waves by giving all employees the latest smartphoneof their choice from a list of four top phones right now (Apple, Windows, or one of two Androidmodels) as well as a data plan to match, and no longer supporting use of Blackberry. Herreasoning? She thinks it’s important for her team to use the same technology and social systemstheir customers are using so the company can grow with the times and understand what the userswant and need.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 11 ]
  12. 12. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesThis is an innovative step for the new leader of a company currently perceived by those on theoutside looking in to be struggling, and one that makes perfect sense: social platforms can help anycompany grow and succeed in a more agile way, and mobile social is the new king.Social Media Helps Reach ScalabilityWhen it comes to scalability, IT andsoftware companies may not thinkof social media as being helpful.Companies like Twitter, for example,might disagree. By creating a quirkyenvironment around their initial scalingproblems in 2006 and 2007 and aseries of backend programming flubs(FailWhale, Maintenance Ice CreamCone), they allowed their users to feellike they were part of the process,helping to avoid most of the negativefeeling that comes from a favoriteservice being down while allowing themto fix mistakes and grow.Of course, making in-jokes (andT-shirts) about drinking FailWhalePale Ale when a site is down is onlyamusing for so long. At some point theproblems need to be solved. Socialmedia can give companies an assistwith this by using concepts of marketresearch and crowdsourcing to locateand track problems.Download our Agile Market Research with Social Media ebook for pointers on how to use socialmedia to help you source and fix problems in an agile way.Get a jump on fixing the problem by using social media, polling, bug reports and user commenting,spreadsheets and metrics to track responses and get excellent reporting on what is happening foryour customers and user base. Involve the customers in the solution and use social channels togive ongoing feedback and outreach. You’ll increase the chances of retaining your customer basethrough any challenge while you work to improve your product or service or fix an outage.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 12 ]
  13. 13. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesConclusion 2012 BRANDfog CEO SurveyIn a world moving to the web and to mobile, where people increasingly rely on social platformsto connect, grow, explore and learn, it’s essential for the IT and software industry to embracesocial media.It’s a bit ironic that IT companies struggle to embrace social media in the same sophisticatedand enthusiastic way their customers do. Companies that don’t embrace this new media willbe left behind, simply because they won’t have the tools in place inside the company and outto be as agile as they need to be to thrive in a fast-paced world. By training and educatingemployees and adopting social on all fronts and at all levels of the company, IT and softwarecompanies will succeed.www.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 13 ]
  14. 14. Community Ebook / October 2012 Social Media for IT and Software CompaniesEmployee Social Media Onboardingfor IT and Software CompaniesThis simple checklist will help you get your employees on track for successful social mediause for your IT or software company. Define Social Media Policy with Human Resources and Legal Add a Social Media Conduct & Guidelines page to your Employee Handbook Provide or reimburse your employees with the right tools for the job (smartphone, tablet, laptop) Define which social networks you want to focus on Create solid guidelines for experimentation on other social networks and platforms Create guidelines for showing the difference between personal and business social media use Create employee training materials in social media (webinars, internal sessions, slide decks) Mandate employee social media training using these materials Run periodic fire drills to test employee knowledge of social media tools and engagement Run periodic assessments of how your brand and your employees are doing on social media Ensure that a copy of metrics and analytics data goes out to all participating employees regularly Create feedback routes for employees to seek direction and help with social media concerns Have a mentoring system in place for employees who struggle Use the buddy system: pair employees strong in business savvy but weak in social savvy with strongly social employees who need more business acumen Conduct 3, 6 and 12 month evaluations of your process and how it is tying back to sales and retention and make any adjustments as needed Be consistent over timewww.radian6.com1 888 6RADIAN (1 888 672 3426) Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 14 ]